RPCS3, the emulator in question, received a DMCA request for their Patreon from Atlus on September 23rd. Patreon actually supported RPCS3, claiming the page didn’t explicitly state how to steal Persona 5, break its DRM, or otherwise circumvent the law to get Persona running on PC. As a precaution, RPCS3 removed all mention of Persona from their website and Patreon, mostly in regards to getting it to run smoothly on computers instead of the legal PS3 and PS4 versions of the game.
RPCS3 is a general PC PS3 emulator, with Persona 5 just being one of the latest (and most likely the last major) game to release for the last generation console. Atlus followed up on the news with a blog post on their website:
“We believe that our fans best experience our titles (like Persona 5) on the actual platforms for which they are developed. We don’t want their first experiences to be framerate drops, or crashes, or other issues that can crop up in emulation that we have not personally overseen. We understand that many Persona fans would love to see a PC version. And while we don’t have anything to announce today, we are listening! For now, the best way to experience Persona 5 is on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.”
You can read the rest here.
Emulation is a massive grey area for games, with many reasons why someone would be opposed (piracy for games readily available, cutting into profits), or for it (preservation, ability to play out of print and rare games). It’s understandable why Atlus would be wary that this emulator would eat into their sales for Persona 5‘s PS3 release, but by the same token, RPCS3 doesn’t necessarily promote piracy, as there are legal ways to dump game files and run them with the emulator. It’s a tricky subject no matter where you stand, but for now, the ball is in RPCS3’s court.